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Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

President Trump broadened his Twitter attacks on leading black figures Monday to include the Rev. Al Sharpton, as conservative African American pastors defended him from claims that he's racist following a meeting with him.

Why it matters: Trump has faced growing accusations of racism for targeting lawmakers of color and repeatedly lashing out at Rep. Elijah Cummings on Twitter and the majority-black Baltimore-area district he represents, notably calling it "a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess."

Details: Coalition of African American Pastors president Bill Owens said about 20 people attended the closed-door meeting with the president, according to a public pool report.

  • ABC News reports that while Alveda King, a niece of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., walked away without answering a question about whether Trump is racist, Owens said, "I find that hard to believe, considering the things he’s done for the black community. Positive things for the black community."

The big picture: Before the meeting, Trump lashed out at Sharpton, and he continued his Twitter attacks on Cummings and the 4 congresswomen of color he targeted in his now-infamous "go back" tweets — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley — known as "the squad."

If the Democrats are going to defend the Radical Left "Squad" and King Elijah’s Baltimore Fail, it will be a long road to 2020. The good news for the Dems is that they have the Fake News Media in their pocket!
— Trump tweet
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

What he's saying: Sharpton tweeted, "Trump says I’m a troublemaker & con man. I do make trouble for bigots. If he really thought I was a con man he would want me in his cabinet."

  • He later told MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" that Trump has "decided he's going to have a race-based campaign by going after high-profile blacks."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

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DOJ pressed to enforce Al Jazeera foreign agent ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Justice Department is being pressed to enforce its own demand that the U.S. arm of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera register as a foreign agent.

Why it matters: The launch of Al Jazeera's new right-of-center U.S. media venture, Rightly, has refocused attention on the media company's alleged links to Doha, and DOJ's efforts to crack down on media outlets viewed as foreign interest mouthpieces.

Poll: Immigration is America's most-polarizing issue

Data: The American Aspirations Index/Populace; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Immigration was found to be the most polarizing issue in America based on new polling from Populace.

Why it matters: Americans have surprisingly similar priorities for the U.S., but immigration stands out as one of the few issues with clear partisan differences. It underscores the challenge for advocates and lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform in the coming weeks amid narrow margins in Congress.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Lawmakers hide behind AG's investigation as Cuomo lingers

A billboard outside Albany, N.Y. Photo: Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is politically wounded but not yet dead, several state lawmakers tell Axios.

The state of play: Most are holding their fire and punting to state Attorney General Letitia James' investigation into sexual harassment allegations. They expect the inquiry to be credible and thorough — and buy Cuomo badly needed breathing room.